Just for the record, here’s a mention of Mark Thornton’s research from earlier this year, which I had missed. From The NYT online:
Economists are often skeptical of drug laws, favoring alternatives like legalization, decriminalization, or a combination of legalization and high taxation, to discourage use. (In an essay titled “Prohibition vs. Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?” Mark Thornton, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, chronicles economists’ views of the war on drugs.) Drugs could be treated as more of a public health problem than a criminal matter.